Sunday, March 06, 2011

Apple • Missing BarbaDel

Apple • Missing BarbaDel

Maybe it is only fitting that it is raining today ... really raining and grey and cold. It is one year today that we lost our friend BarbaDel Campbell. If I had to choose a champion of art in the Lehigh Valley, without a doubt it would be BarbaDel. She loved culture. She was savvy and smart and intellectual ... but also held court with the financially downtrodden ... and never lost respect for someone in spite of their income ... unless you were exceedingly rich. She gleaned the best from - and brought out the best in - everyone.

BarbaDel could read you like a book. And books she loved. When she passed away and I visited her apartment for the last time. There were thousands of books - and she prided herself on the fact that she read every one ... at least once. When they packed up all the books, they lay in boxes ... by the dozens ... on her porch. I opened just one box and found a museum book on Picasso, a retro book on cooking for your husband, and an album containing books on Matisse, Goya, Van Gogh and Modigliani. How incredible ... and these pieces from just one box. ... imagine if you could open every box ...

That was BarbaDel. Each year she opened her top floor apartment to all on Christmas eve. Artists and writers and musicians and singers ... and lovers of culture. She entertained us with stories of living in Hell's Kitchen in New York City, working at the Village Scandal in Greenwich Village and dining with Marlene Dietrich. It's almost impossible in life to meet someone like BarbaDel ... truly impossible. And you don't think that things are urgent, that she will be there another day ...

March 6th ... I had made plans with my sister Karen the night before to visit her ... it would be on a Saturday ... and then I received the call that she died. Just a few hours before I would arrive, to be able to listen to her once again ... to hear her funny and miraculous stories ... to be able to tell her how much she enriched our lives ... and to say 'I love you' for the last time.

I miss you BarbaDel. We all do. Certainly a great light has gone out in our every day to day lives.

I cannot even begin to image the heavens with you there ... hanging on your every word, laughing, enjoying your stories and your theatrical voice, drinking a Milwaukee's Best ... and the light ... just a little brighter and warmer because of you.



Blogger Anastacia said...

Ann, that was beautifully said!! I did not know her very well, but she did have such an elegance and wonderful style that touched everyone she met.

8:58 PM  

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